A new study has found that eating beans can lower your risk for diabetes. Lentils, chickpeas, and peas may be particularly helpful, especially when substituting them foreggs, bread, rice, and baked potato. http://www.clinicalnutritionjournal.com/article/S0261-5614(17)30106-1/fulltext Check out this awesome recipe for curried lentils: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=recipe&dbid=111
Researchers recently found that aiming to walk 10 minutes after each meal lowered blood sugar more than exercising all at once…results were particularly promising after the dinner meal where people tend to eat more carbohydrates and are usually more sedentary. Aiming to walk 10 minutes after each meal led to an increase in overall activity.
Takeaway: Aim to move your body for 10 minutes after each meal.
20 minutes of exercise can have anti-inflammatory effects on your body. According to recent research, there is a lowering of cells that are linked with inflammation after just 20 minutes of exercise. Those studied walked on a treadmill at a moderate pace for 20 minutes.
Takeaway: Exercise doesn’t have to be intense in order to have health benefits. A brisk 20-30 minute walk can be very helpful.
I think it’s really important to know a few places to go to get healthy take-out within a few miles of your home. One of my faves is Fresh City Restaurants in Newton and Natick. I go there to eat or pick up quick meals, to meet with business associates, and to enjoy a nice healthy meal with my family.
My go-to meal is the salmon stir-fry. They have a bunch of vegetables to select from, you scoop them into a bowl, and they stir fry them up for you with your choice of sauce. To save on calories, I ask for ½ the portion of brown rice and ½ the portion of sauce. It comes out perfect every time. This was my salmon stir-fry today.
They have a huge fresh salad bar. Look here:
When I go with my family, my kids love to get the chicken teriyaki bowl with brown rice and carrots, broccoli, and zucchini. It’s a winner every time!
My husband’s favorite is the Laredo Burrito and the salad bar.
On today’s salad bar they had this awesome quinoa salad.
Check out Fresh City's website here: http://freshcity.com/
What are some of your favorite places to go for quick healthy takeout?
Beans can help us live longer! Cultures known as “Blue Zones” where people live long lives full of vitality and good health, are known for eating beans. What’s more, beans are inexpensive and can keep your food budget low. Most beans that you cook from the dry bags (pictured above) need to be soaked before cooking. Fortunately, lentils do not, so they are a quicker cooking bean.
Studies show that eating beans helps reduce your risk for heart disease. Lentils are an excellent source of folate and fiber. They contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. The soluble fiber forms a gel and helps to sweep cholesterol out of the body. The insoluble fiber helps to move the food along in your intestines, preventing against constipation. Lentils are mineral rich and contain protein, which along with fiber, helps to keep you full.
Check out the Blue Zones blog for awesome articles
Here are two great Blue Zones books by Dan Buettner:
- The Blue Zones, Second Edition: 9 Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who've Lived the Longest
- The Blue Zones Solution: Eating and Living Like the World’s Healthiest People
For Lentils with Chicken recipe from Clean Eating Magazine: http://www.cleaneatingmag.com/recipes/one-pot-lentils-chicken/
Click here for Chinese Lentil and Noodle Salad Recipe: http://www.cookingwithpulses.com/recipes/chinese-lentil-and-noodle-salad/ Consider using whole wheat pasta in this recipe.
Do you remember Chia Pets? These popular figurines of the 1980’s used chia seeds to grow green plant “hair.” Fast forward 30 years and we are now eating the seeds. The seeds are quite nutritious and pack a powerful omega-3 fatty acid and fiber punch! One tablespoon of chia seeds has 70 calories and contains over 20% of the fiber you need in a day! (Reminder: Increase your water intake when you increase your fiber intake.) Omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory compounds and may help treat and prevent heart disease, depression, dementia, and inflammatory conditions such as arthritis.
Popular ways to use chia seeds are to add them to smoothies, yogurt, and cereal. The first time I tried them was in a Chia Pudding sample I ate at Whole Foods (See the recipe here: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipe/chia-pudding ). Chia has a unique consistency…when you add a liquid to the dry seeds, the seeds absorb the liquid and begin to form a gel.
Chia seeds can be found at Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods. Check out the natural section of your supermarket as well.
I have a new favorite way to make oatmeal that I use as a meal or snack. I use a mason jar, add oats, liquid (see my recipe below) nuts and fruit, shake, then store in the refrigerator, or pack in an insulated cooler/bag to take with you. I find it takes about an hour for the ingredients to mix and for the oats to absorb the liquid. Most times I make it the night before. While you can microwave the oatmeal in the jar (after removing the cap and lid), I actually enjoy the texture of eating it cold. It makes the perfect portable meal or snack for people on the go!
Tips from Quaker Oats:
- For best results, let oats soak in the fridge for a full 8 hours so they can absorb all the liquid. Of course, a few hours is OK too.
- Use a one-to-one ratio of raw oats and your choice of milk, yogurt, or any other dairy substitutes.
- For a more crunchy, textured breakfast, set some toppings aside to add in the morning.
- Achieve maximum texture with Old Fashioned Rolled Oats. Although, we won't stop you from trying it with Instant or Steel Cut Oats, too!
- Overnight Oats taste delicious in any container, so mix it up with mason jars, mugs, even hollowed out fruit!
- Frozen fruit toppings work especially well when soaking overnight - as they "thaw", the delicious juices are released into the oats!
Tricia’s simple recipe:
Overnight Oatmeal Blueberry Delight
¼ cup old fashioned oats
¼ cup milk (dairy, soy, etc.)
1/3 cup blueberries
217 calories, 24 g carbs, 7 g protein, 12 g fa
If you’ve been watching The Real Housewives of Orange County recently you might have noticed that the beautiful Tamra Judge looks even more amazing. On the show her trainer is shown using calipers to measure body fat. Sometimes the scale can be discouraging, but if we measure bodyfat using calipers, or take measurements of the waist, hips, thighs, etc., we may find other ways to motivate us to keep working out. To stay motivated Tamra trained for a fitness competition. This is one of many ways to get motivated to get more fit and/or to lose weight.
In the above video , Tamra is shown with her handsome husband (also featured on the show) Eddie. They do the plank and then some fun variations on the plank along with mountain climbers. Planks are great exercises that can strengthen your whole body. I found that when I added Barre classes to the mix of exercise programs that I do, I noticed my arms started to look longer and leaner, and I attribute this to all the work on all fours (i.e. planks, and other exercises done while you are holding on your forearms or arms, such as donkey kicks, and leg lifts).
Potatoes are rich in fiber, iron, and Vitamin C and a medium one has 160 calories. Check out these two quick ways for making a potato!
Rapid-Fire Potato Recipe:
1. Pierce a potato with a fork 5-6 times all around the potato
2. Microwave for approximately 5-8 minutes, rotating halfway through
Here are some healthy potato topping ideas:
1. Cut open and add light sour cream, black beans and salsa for a yummy Mexican flair. Add spinach to this to make it a meal.
2. Cut open and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, basil, oregano, onion powder, garlic powder and parmesan cheese for an Italian flavor
French Fry Alternative Recipe:
Another fun way to cook potatoes in the microwave is to take a potato and slice thin and lay out the slices on a large microwave-safe plate. Microwave for 4-5 minutes and then flip the slices over and microwave another 4-5 minutes. Dip into ketchup and enjoy!
Stress Eating on Bravo’s Shah’s of Sunset
On a recent episode of Bravo’s Shah’s of Sunset, Reza Farahan, a real estate professional, was giving it a go at comedy. He invited his friends to his first show at the Improv. He stress eats plates of fried food as he is waiting to go on and his friends join in. First off, I love the show and the cast, so I am not criticizing them. I commend them for being so open and honest in showing viewers a glimpse of their lives.
I was at a stressful job and I would come home from work, turn the television on and eat healthy whole grain cereal. Lots of it. I was distracted by TV and phone calls, so I never really knew how much I was eating. I would follow this up with a full meal.
Within five months I had gained over 25 pounds. Imagine my surprise when a kitchen worker congratulated me by giving the thumbs up, pointing to his belly, then pointing to me and saying “ Embarazada, embarazada!” That’s pregnant in Spanish! I wasn’t embarazada, but was quite embarrassed. The stress eating had impregnated me with a full-term food baby.
Watch out for Enablers.
I have found that there are enablers to stress eating. TV is a best friend to stress eating. Friends can also be an enabler. In the Bravo episode, some of Reza’s friends are joining right in with his stress eating. Junk food that doesn’t have to be chewed much is another enabler (i.e. ice cream, cake, cookies). Enablers can be different for different people. My enablers are tv, dried fruit, crackers, and not portioning cereal.
What can you do instead?
Identifying your enablers can be quite powerful. Let friends know you are changing your habits and are hoping they can support you in this. Here are some first steps to start curbing stress eating:
- Turn off the TV.
- Try not to keep food around that is tempting.
- Do some deep breathing exercises, yoga, or meditation.
- Work on not letting the stress build too much.
- Develop a support system.
When I began turning off the TV while eating, working on my stress levels by leaving the job that wasn’t the right fit for me, and putting an end to the stress eating, the weight came off. I still eat healthy whole grain cereal, I just make sure I measure a portion first.
1 small orange or 2 clementines
1 container of fat free vanilla yogurt (5-6 oz) (I like Stonyfield or Siggi’s)
4 ice cubes
Add all ingredients to a blender and blend well.
Yield: 1 Serving
Siggi’s 5.3 oz vanilla 0% fat yogurt cup is tasty and only has 9 grams of sugar compared to national brands that have 18-33 grams of sugar per serving. Some brands may have low sugar but use artificial sweeteners. Try to avoid these. Siggi’s uses agave nectar as its source of sugar. Agave nectar may not spike your blood sugar as high as regular cane sugar. Siggi’s has a short ingredient list and uses premium ingredients. Siggi’s can be found at most supermarkets.
Vegan Delight Smoothie
(You can use less of each ingredient if you want a smaller smoothie or want to lower the calories. The label to the right assumes 1 tsp of ground flax seed and ½ banana)
1/2 cup soy milk
4 oz firm tofu
1 T almond butter
1-2 tsp ground flax seed or 1 tsp chia seed (if you are new to flax, start with one tsp and eventually work up to two)
1/3 or 1/2 frozen banana (I often cut a fresh banana in half or thirds, then use one fresh piece in my breakfast, or snack, and freeze the other pieces)
Drop of pure vanilla extract—a tiny drop…any more than this and you can overpower the flavor of the other ingredients.
½ tsp Hershey’s unsweetened cocoa powder
Add all ingredients to a blender and blend well.
Yield: 1 Serving
I love that the only ingredient in Old-fashioned oats is oats! Oatmeal with peanut butter is one of my favorite things to eat!
¼ cup Old Fashioned Oats
¼ cup Water
1-2 tsp Peanut Butter
Fruit (blueberries, strawberries, ½ banana, etc.)
Optional: ¼ - 1/3 cup of Plain Greek Yogurt
- Place oats in microwave-safe bowl
- Add water
- Microwave for 1.5 minutes
- Microwave for an additional 1-1.5 minutes (microwave times may vary)
- Mix in 1-2 tsp peanut butter (Teddie is my favorite brand!)
- Mix in your favorite fruit
- Optional: Add a scoop of yogurt on top if you want to increase the protein content of your breakfast or want to make it more filling.
Yield: 1 serving
165 Calories per serving using ½ banana and 1 tsp peanut butter
- If you buy the old fashioned oats in the large canister and use ¼ cup at a time as suggested on the left, you will get 60 servings, and it will only cost you pennies per serving.
- If you double the oats, double the water.
- Avoid pre-packaged oatmeal which often has many additives. Look for plain oatmeal and add your own toppings.
- Can be eaten as a breakfast or a snack.
One of my clients made Dr. Oz’s Italian Bowl and absolutely loved it. I took the original recipe, and updated it to include more ingredient and preparation details, and parsley to give it an extra kick. The updated recipe appears below.
Zucchini noodles have become popular because they taste like pasta, but are much lower in calories and starchy carbohydrates. Spiralizers are kitchen gadgets that can help turn the zucchini into noodles. I looked at the reviews of them, which led me to buy the Paderno Spiralizer and Spiralizer cookbook at William Sonoma. What an awesome device!
Comparison of Carbs and Calories in 1 Cup of Whole Wheat Spaghetti compared with 1 Cup of Zucchini Noodles
Nutrient of Note: Zucchini
Zucchini may be helpful for your eyes due to its high content of the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin. These nutrients protect against macular degeneration. Zucchini is also rich in fiber and copper, a nutrient important for making collagen, a structural protein in the body. Copper is also important for energy production and antioxidant protection. Zucchini is a good source of Vitamin C, magnesium, manganese, and potassium. A whole medium zucchini has approximately 35 calories, which makes it a weight-management superfood!
Italian Turkey Bowl over Zucchini Noodles
- 2 T canola oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
- 1 1b 93% lean ground turkey
- 1 can unsalted diced tomato (use the liquid, too, don’t drain)
- ¼ cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 1/8 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
- dash salt (optional) and pepper
- 2 medium zucchini (green and/or yellow), turned into noodles with spiralizer
- 1 tsp parmesan cheese (reduced fat feta cheese also goes well with this recipe)
- Heat up canola oil in frying pan.
- Add onion and cook 3-5 minutes until tender, stirring frequently.
- Add garlic and cook for 3 additional minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add ground turkey. Cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring and breaking it apart frequently.
- Add diced tomatoes, parsley, and basil.
- Add a dash of salt (optional) and pepper.
- Cook for approximately 11 more minutes. Temperature with a food thermometer should be at least 165 degrees before removing mixture from pot.
- Remove mixture from pot and place zucchini noodles in the pot.
- Cook noodles for 2-3 minutes. Flip with tongs as you cook it.
- Place noodles on plate, with turkey mixture over it, sprinkle on cheese, and enjoy!
Seapoint Farms Edamame Products
Soybeans are a great source of fiber as well as numerous minerals. Replacing meat and dairy in the diet with beans such as soybeans can help lower cholesterol. Soy also contains isoflavones which may contribute to healthy bones and decreasing hot flashes in those going through menopause. Whole soy products provide more benefits then their refined counterparts (listed in labels as soy protein and soy protein isolates). When buying soy products, make sure they are non-gmo (not genetically modified). Genetically modified foods are not tested well and may lead to allergies and other health issues. Those taking thyroid medications or at risk for breast cancer should contact their doctors regarding soy consumption.
The following nutritious and delicious whole soy products are non-gmo. I have listed some key features. The microwave and stovetop beans all go well with reduced sodium soy sauce, or low sodium tamari (also made from soy), with a sprinkle of ginger, onion powder and garlic powder.
- Only 100 calories, but much more nutritious than other 100-calorie snack packs
- Work well in a trail mix, or on their own as a snack
- Often located in natural area of supermarket
Soy Beans, microwaveable in pods
- Awesome time-savors
- Takes only 3 minutes to cook in the microwave
- The pods are inedible, but this makes them last longer, since you need to do the work of opening them up
- To eat them, bring them close to your mouth and pop the beans into your mouth…they are fun to eat!
- 6 individual bags come in the box
Soybeans, microwaveable, shelled
- Awesome time-savors
- Takes only 3 minutes to cook in the microwave
- Beans have been shelled, so when they are ready, they can easily be tossed over salads or used in rice or pasta dishes
- Six individual bags come in the box
Soybeans, frozen, cook on stovetop
- Convenient and cook up fast
- Bring a pot of water to a boil, add the beans, or pods, bring back to a boil, then cook for 4-5 minutes
- Add shelled beans to rice and pasta dishes